New Worlds Spring/Summer 2013 Issue
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The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot Review
This article was written by Donald Michael Kraig, Certified Tarot Grandmaster on January 11, 2009
Summary: Although the book that comes with the deck clearly illustrates how to do divinations, this deck is clearly pretty distant from most Tarot decks. However, it will be of extreme interest to ceremonial magicians, especial aficionados of the Golden Dawn system and practitioners of Enochian magick. It’s also great for keying into astral projection and skrying. It’s a unique take on the Tattvas will open previous unconsidered possibilities.
Name of deck: The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Creators’ names: Bill and Judi Genaw & Chic and S. Tabatha Cicero
Number of pages of book: 432
Authors of book: Bill and Judi Genaw & Chic and S. Tabatha Cicero
Brief biography of authors: Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero are Senior Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. They share an enthusiasm for the esoteric arts. They live in Florida with their cat, Lealah, where they work and practice magic. Bill and Judi Genaw are advanced students of the occult.
Available in a boxed kit?: Yes
Magical Uses: Skrying, astral projection, pathworking, talismans
Reading Uses: General readings
Artistic Style: Geometric and graphic design
Theme: Golden Dawn, Enochian, Tattvas
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: A dual-sided divination deck and more. One side is focused on the Enochian system and the other side is a Western variation on the ancient Eastern Tattva system.
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: No
If Divination Deck, what is the structure? This is a unique, two-sided deck. One side, the "Enochian Watchtower Tarot," is based on concepts introduced in the magical system discovered by Dr. John Dee and his assistant, Edward Kelly. It has four suits that represent the elemental forces of the four Watchtowers of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Each suit contains 22 cards which contain four different card types that relate to different levels of angelic hierarchies on an Enochian Tablet. The four card types include Godname Cards, King and Senior Cards, Kerubic and Sephirotic Angel Cards, and Servient Angel Cards. The other side is called the "Western Tattva Tarot." It, too, is divided into four elemental suits. The back and front of each card share the same elemental correspondences.
This deck is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before (and I have seen and worked with hundreds of decks). Take a look at any Tarot deck you own. If you don’t have a Tarot deck, look at any deck of playing cards. Do you see any wasted space where you could fit an entire extra deck of cards? The answer to this riddle, of course, is the backs of the cards. To the best of my knowledge, The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot is the first two-sided Tarot deck.
On one side is The Enochian Watchtower Tarot. The Watchtowers are portals between this plane and that of the Enochian world. They are associated with the four magical elements. The deck has twenty-two cards for each element and each is filled with symbolic information. The eighty-ninth card is a special uniting design known as the "Tablet of Union."
The other side of the deck consists of The Western Tattvas Tarot. This is loosely based on the Tantric mystical tattva system. That system uses symbols such as a square and a crescent to represent each of the magical elements. This deck uses begins with that concept, but uses the symbols of western alchemy. Thus a triangle with one point up represents elemental Fire, a triangle with one point down represents Water, one with a horizontal line across a triangle that points up represents elemental Air, and a triangle pointing down with a horizontal line across it represents Earth. A fifth design, a circle divided into eighths by straight lines represents Spirit.
In the Tattva system, the symbols that represent the elements can be made even more specific by putting one inside another. Thus, you could have a symbol for Air of Earth or Water of Fire. In this deck the same is true. A downward pointing triangle inside of an upward pointing one represents Water of Fire. However, it goes beyond the tattvic system by adding a third level. Put a third triangle inside of them (say one with a point down and a line across it to get Earth of Water of Fire) for even more precision. As with the other side there are four suits of twenty-two cards each. The remaining card features the wheel of Spirit by itself.
The Enochian Skrying Tarot is so designed that the symbols and images on each side of any card are related. You can learn more of the meaning of one side of the card by looking at the other side of the card. The Western Tattvas Tarot is both elegant and simple, while The Enochian Watchtower Tarot is packed with information. Each of the latter (excluding the Tablet of Union card) includes zodiacal, planetary, and elemental symbols as well as the traditional Tarot name, Hebrew letter and Egyptian deity where applicable. Of course the divine and angelic Enochian names, depending upon the nature of the card, are included. The book that comes in the set is in three levels, each teaching you more about different ways to use both sides of the deck, moving from beginner to advanced. That’s a great idea and I wish more writers would follow such a technique.
Another thing I would like to point out about this deck is that it is drawn using the flashing color system of the Golden Dawn. This system uses complementary colors (such as red and green) placed in close proximity. If the colors are correct (as they are here), they seem to vibrate or "flash" back and forth. This is not magick. It is a physiological phenomenon.
For some people it has been reported that such flashing colors develop a three-dimensional quality similar to the posters from a few decades ago where, if you relax your gaze while looking at a blur, an image in 3-D becomes obvious. Not all people see this 3-D quality, but if you look at the flashing colors for just a few minutes it can help induce an altered state of consciousness (ASC) which can help in skrying—seeing on the astral plane—as well as astral travel, magick, etc.
Enochian magick, was once shunned by some occultists (one occult order based their entire system on that of the Golden Dawn, but eliminated the Enochian work that was part of the GD curriculum) and approached with a chary eye by others (one contemporary writer even goes so far as to say that the practice of Enochian magick will bring about the apocalypse described in the Bible), virtually all practitioners of ceremonial magick acknowledge it’s power. As a result, over the last decade or so, there has been an increasing interest in this complex and sometimes contradictory system. It’s contradictory because even Dee and Kelly made changes to it, leaving later practitioners to determine for themselves, what to use. The Golden Dawn made changes to make it fit their symbolic needs, as have others who, for example, tried to make it fit neatly into the paradigm brought forward by Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society.
The Enochian system has its own language and symbolism. Learning all of the concepts is difficult, which is why this deck is an important teaching/learning tool for anyone studying this system. For this purpose alone I would highly recommend this deck. [There is another deck, The Enochian Tarot by Gerald and Betty Schueler with art by Sallie Ann Glassman. It is fine deck in its own right, but is of completely different artistic style and focuses on different aspects of the Enochian system.] Further, if you are working the Golden Dawn system, these cards can be added to some of your ritual work.
The book of course, includes divinatory meanings for all the cards. The meanings for the Enochian side are based on a Golden Dawn system. The interpretations for the Tattvic side are based on both the Hindu Tattvic system and the I Ching. You can use either side by itself, of mix front and back, using both as part of one reading.
You may have noticed that this review, so far, has primarily been descriptive of the deck. The truth is, I’ve barely scratched the surface of this amazing deck. It’s practically a full system of magick and divination by itself. And in today’s world, where people like simple, straightforward things, that may be this deck’s downfall. It is so think with information you could literally spend a lifetime doing nothing more than studying and working with this deck. There’s a lot to learn here—especially since the divination aspect does not simply correspond to more traditional Tarot decks—and some people may not wish to spend the time and effort to learn to use this deck no matter the value gained.
Although it is called a "Tarot," it is certainly not standard. It is magnificent for helping people wishing to do astral projection or just seeing onto the astral plane (skrying). It’s also great for learning or teaching the concepts of Enochian magic, making this a must for people practicing any of several magickal systems, ranging from Thelemic magick and the Golden Dawn to Chaos magicians and those specializing in Enochian magick. The use of the "Western" Tattvas is unique, clever, and expansive. But is this going to be a deck that you regularly use for divinations or meditation? I would guess not. This is a great and powerful deck for use by magicians and those interested in Enochian magic specifically, but I don’t think this will become the deck regularly used for divination by many people.